Furnished, Part 1

For two people in their mid-thirties, neither Jeff nor I had a lot of anything.

I had my first-ever moving sale when I left temporarily Tennessee. It took three trips back and forth from Michigan, stuffing my Volkswagen Golf to the gills with books, and music and chickens. Not live ones; paraphernalia.

My first Michigan apartment furnishings were either free, flea or followed me. Free is self-explanatory. Flea is a bit of a poetic reference to garage sales, flea markets and second-hand stores. Only two items followed me from Tennessee.

I moved a hand-made wooden rocking chair purchased at a yard sale, and a coverta-table. Also hand-made and wooden, the table top swiveled up easily converting it into a chair. There was also a nifty little storage area in the bench for linens.

Both chairs had hand-carved and wood-burned sheaves of wheat. I didn’t think about that detail much back then. All I knew was I like the motif, had purchased them at separate times, and they sort of matched. A year later, in Michigan, I found a close-out entertaiment center with sheaves of wheat to match. I briefly acknowledged that with a fleeting thought of “Hm, what a coincidence.”

Among my early Michigan acquisitions were a second-hand orange and brown plaid couch and a second-hand matching orange velvet chair that were stashed in an empty office where I worked. A wood coffee table that needed some balancing help and an old used-to-be-white dresser and mirror came next.

I painted the dresser a yellowish-white to match the yellowed laminate top, then added a few burnt orange accents. I happily accepted a compliment when the previous owner exclaimed, “If I’d known it could look like that, I might not have given it away.”

I purchased an old wood-boxed TV that must have weighed about 100 pounds. Trying to corner roll that into my new apartment building, lead to meeting the neighbor who would later introduce me to online dating.

I also acquired an old copper dry sink, an old three-tiered wooden sewing basket, and a beautiful piece of stained glass art.

Of all those first run belongings, only three remain. The dry sink sits just inside the door of my current home. It’s where I set my work bag down when I get home, and where I pick it up from in the morning.

The sewing box serves a dual purpose as an end table in the living room. The stained glass rainbow hangs over the bureau in my bedroom.

I guess you could say I don’t hang on to much furniture.

Quote for the Week:




Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

Why DO We: Keep It

What To Do With: Sentimental Pieces

On the Other Hand: Minimalize


It Was Supposed to Go Like This, Part 2

We got through that part, and we got through the next part, too.

Then, prematurely and over-enthusiastically (probably due to the nature of his state, which didn’t even seem to be in Michigan), the guy who was supposed to be marrying us announced in Jeff’s direction, “You may kiss the bride!”

By now Jeff had significant rows of scowling creases on his forehead. He also had the where-with-all to stop that nonsense in its track by not-so stage whispering, “The rings! The. Rings!”

We got through that part.

One of the funniest professional photos in my official wedding album is the one where the best man and the matron of honor are assembled to sign as witnesses to the marriage. There’s my sister-in-law not looking pleased, holding out her hand, demanding the pen from Dr. Dinglefritz in a “Give. Me. The Pen.” gesture. My brother is earnestly leaning forward, balancing on 3 fingers deliberately placed on the table. Our best man seems unsure, which is well warranted.

When we left the festivities that evening, we weren’t even sure we were really married.

When the marriage certificate arrived, I was relieved to note it was indeed valid

Jeff just shrugged and said, “See? I told you everything would work out.” Then, added “Wort.”

Quote for the Week:



semi ad lib Boring Occasions do not make good stories jak 08 30 2016

Bonus: It Was Supposed to Go Like This:


Opening Words by Minister:

Good afternoon, let me please introduce myself, I am DR (sic) Dinglefritz, I am an ordained minister and it is my pleasure to incorporate the beliefs of both JEFF KORTE and JODI ANN SELIN in the wedding service and to thank you for honoring them with your presence today.  Thank you for the friendship and support that you have given them in the past.  Their wedding today will be a moment when all our thoughts are turned toward love and joy.


Minister:      God, our hearts are overflowing with happiness on this special day–JEFF and JODI’s wedding day.  Thank you for bringing them together and for directing them every step of the way as they made their marriage plans.  Thank you also for these their friends who have come to celebrate these moments with them.

Bless their marriage and the home that they are establishing

together.  Help them to continue to grow in their love for each other. Make them thoughtful and understanding helpmates and companions.  Guide them and walk beside them during all their days together as husband and wife.

Giving in Marriage:


Who presents this woman to be married to this man? (Response from Bride’s father) “Her mother and I do.” (This part was silent, but there was waving.)

Minister: Today’s reading chosen by the Bride and Groom; Eskimo love song

You are my husband/you are my wife,

My feet shall run because of you. My feet, dance because of you.

My heart shall beat because of you.

My eyes, see because of you.

My mind thinks because of you.

And I shall love because of you.


Vows:  (This was the Give. Me. The Book. part)

GROOM     Will you, JODI, take my hand and explore with me the limitless wonders of this world?

BRIDE       I will.

BRIDE      JEFF, will you promise to share with me your own discoveries and new perspectives on life?

GROOM     I will.  Will you work with me to broaden our horizons continually and expand the boundaries or our lives?

BRIDE      I will. Will you live with me to the fullest, for all the days we share?

GROOM     I will.  Then I, JEFF, offer to you, JODI, all that I am, all that I may encounter, and all that I may become.  I will always offer to you support, friendship, and peace. Let us explore together the infinity of our love from this day forward.

BRIDE              I, JODI, question no part of your commitment, recognize no darkness that we cannot vanquish with open hearts, and accept you as my partner above all others.  I pledge before this company to love and cherish you forever as my husband in acknowledgment of the miracle of us.


I come to you pure of heart and sound of mind.  From this day forward we will walk in peace, live by God’s word, and trust in his blessings.  If these include the joy of children, we will raise them in His sight and under His hand.

Wedding song: “In this Life…”

Lighting of the Candles:

Minister: We now come to the lighting of the Candles of Unity. We ask that the mother’s of both the Bride and Groom light the two smaller candles representing the individual lives of the Bride and Groom. They then pass them to their son and daughter.

JODI and JEFF in lighting the Unity candle you signify to yourselves and to the whole world that the two of you will forever be as one.

Minister:  At this time we welcome the new bride’s brother, to assist in the breaking of the glass ceremony.

BROTHER OF THE BRIDE: It is my pleasure to bring to you the symbolic Breaking of the Glass The shattering glass reminds us that even at the height of personal joy, it is our duty to recall the sadness and tragedy in the world around us. The glass is shattered with the implication that the marriage shall always remain intact.

Jeff, I present this glass to you with  joy.

Jodi and Jeff may your marriage be as strong and complete as it would be difficult to unshatter this symbolic glass


Minister: May I have the rings, please?

Minister:  JODI and JEFF, may your love be as eternal as the unbroken infinity of the rings you are about to exchange.

GROOM     With this ring, I thee, wed.

BRIDE        And, with this ring, I thee, wed.

Minister: At this time it is my pleasure by the authority of the Universal Life Church of the State of California and the laws of the State of Michigan to pronounce you husband and wife.

You may kiss the Bride

Ladies and Gentlemen may I present to you: MR and MRS JEFF KORTE



LA Bound

The ad said weddings, graduations, reunions, so we went to take a look.

The LA Café in Adrian wasn’t a very happening spot, but we didn’t know that.

We did know it would hold over the 150 guests we expected, and would allow us to bring in our own catering and decorations.

It also turned out to be a little dicey when, two weeks before our wedding, a fight broke out one evening and arrests were  made.

We chose not to share that with our parents, mostly because we were getting married in the afternoon, had the place to ourselves, knew every person who was going to be there, and were pretty sure there wasn’t going to be any fighting which would escalate into arrests.

We mainly chose not to share because there wasn’t another venue, and we feared there might be an insistence to delay our wedding for a more appropriate place.

Because LA Cafe was primarily a bar, that service would have to be utilized, required. That made sense – especially since one of their regular bartenders would be in charge of the bar.  The fee for the room was reasonable. The fee for the bartender was reasonable. The recommended DJ’s fee was also reasonable, and all were available for the date we preferred. That clenched it.

It was determined the caterer would bring plain white place settings, silverware, cups, and glasses. Jeff and I shopped the dollar store for gold and black napkins, cake plates and streamers. We happened across 16 black, metal, 5-armed, scrolled candle holders perfect for center-pieces, and an amazingly large number of candle sticks in white and gold. Table décor – check!

Music? A friend gifted me 2 CD’s of background instrumental wedding music for dinner ambiance. I suggested a Colin Raye song lyric for our plain and simple entwined heart invitation. Jeff loved the idea.

The wording of the song lyric brought a protest from my mother, who felt we should substitute “was” with “am.” I felt strongly we should keep it as it was written, never imagining how that one word would make such a big difference. I’m very glad I did it my way for many reasons.

It was a beautiful song for the beginning of our married lives together, but it wasn’t quite right for our first dance.  We kept our ears open for current songs, scoured our CD and tape collections, tossed ideas back and forth. Coming up with a “set list” for all of the obligatory dances – Mother/Son, Father/Daughter, Parents, Wedding Party was easy. We filled that with songs we loved, but weren’t quite “the song” we were looking for.

Sweet favors were our next goal. We thought about the regular sort-of-boring little boxes or tulle bags of Jordan Almonds, and considered the (at the time) rather expensive option of custom black and gold M&M’s.

Poking around for something special on internet paid off when Jeff determined he had found the perfect thing.

Quote for the Week:

2016 05 31 in this life jakorte

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

In this Life, I was Loved by You: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCVo_69Gv4w

Custom M&M’s:  (there’s a 20% off sale going on!) https://www.mymms.com/category/shop+by+celebration/wedding.do?gclid=CLb6lrjuhc0CFYwkgQodDvQOnQ

Bulk Ordering: https://www.dollartree.com/

Thanks, Maybe

1999 was the year we decided that we should live closer together, together.

We spent some Saturdays driving around in the red truck looking at apartments, agreeing that Jackson would be a good compromise for both of our jobs.

Earlier in the year, I had left one job, and started another, and although it was a nice job, it wasn’t challenging or floating my boat. Early December, I was given a passed-along tip about an administrative/ marketing job in Ann Arbor, and was lucky enough to be able to get an interview for early January.

The interview went well. I accepted the position, gave notice, told Jeff, and started packing. We still needed a place to live, but mid-January in a college town didn’t leave much open. The few we found in Ann Arbor were too expensive. The few we found in the close outskirts were not in the best neighborhoods.

So, I was stuck. Having jumped head-first into a plan that wasn’t plausible, I was starting a new job and had nowhere to live. I also had given notice at my East Lansing apartment, so, I was about to be a temporarily displaced person.

Of course, Jeff assured me that wasn’t going to happen. “Everything will work out,” he said for the first of many times, “You’ll see.”

I was invited to and considered staying at Jeff’s mom’s, but for a reason I don’t recall, that ended up not being feasible right away.

When Nannee heard about our troubles, she didn’t exactly call us dimwits, but pointed out she had a extra bedroom and space for us until we could find somewhere. Our “thanks, maybe’” turned into a “thanks, yes” pretty quickly.

In the midst of a Michigan winter, nothing magically popped up for us. We did put in an application at an apartment in Tecumseh that 1. wasn’t ready to rent, yet, and 2. already had an application in on it. Jeff had asked if we could fill out the application in case another unit came up, we’d already be on file.

So, I repacked all of the stuff I’d been packing and unpacking since I moved up from Tennessee. Jeff and his awesome friends trudged back and forth through the freezing cold and snow, loading my belongings into truck and cars that caravanned all the way to Nannee’s. Much of which, came to rest in the unused garage.

Jeff and I set up with the bare necessities in Nannee’s small front bedroom with small closets and a huge waterbed that had been there for a while. And it felt really good.

Quote for the Week:

2016 03 01 everything will work out didnt always believe jakorte

Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:

Together, logical: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/17/moving-in-together_n_5986098.html

Together, emotional: http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/relationships/is-it-time-to-move-in-together-10-ways-to-know/#.VtZW5vkrKM8

Together, happy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhhcHMkmyF8



The over-delayed day I thought would never come, somehow bum-rushed me.

I got down to it down to wire, and when it finally came, I was prepared.

It’s obviously been less than roses since last November. However, the last few contractor encounters have been stellar. Handyman, painters and movers; all highly recommendable.

My behavior – perhaps not so much. It has come to my attention that I am not the mega crap-contractor magnet I believed. I’ve heard plenty of ridiculous stories these past few months. Projects gone so outrageously wrong, mine shimmer transparent.

I’m trying truly to be thankful I am here, even as I encounter never-even-considered-things that really need to be addressed. Longtime home-owners have informed me, this discovery path will never end.

Twenty boxes into my undoing, I have found more duplication than I realized. This is good. Some things I will discard, some seem silly to let go. Discards will include one old baking sheet. Holders will include two extra vegetable peelers. Amusingly, I’ve previously discarded a few, the result of Jeff’s never-ending search for the perfect vegetable peeler.

Other parings have included zesters, graters, corers, spritzers. I’m not completely sure why I’ve retained one of each of those, and some other interesting as of yet unused-by-me items, such as the Kniffle-screen. Although, I’ve since learned the proper term would be ‘Nokedli,’ categorically lumped with likewise ‘Spaetzle.’

I’ve never used it for the same reason some don’t use their grandmother’s pizzelle iron or attempt Nana’s apple crumb cake recipe.

For fear it will destroy a delicious in-the-moment memory should our effort not turn out exactly the same.

Defined, that seems a little weak. Especially when placed beside “practice makes perfect,” and “imitation is the best form of flattery.”

Though, neither apply to moving.

(I have to tell you, this wasn’t my original topic for the week. I’ve been following Word Press blogger – Deana O’Hara. This week she posted “The Voice of Truth,” a moving reminder.)

Quote for the Week:

 Never let the voice shouting no 03 10 2015

Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:

Deana O’Hara – Love, Laughter, A Little Banjo and Life after kids @ https://wordpress.com/read/blog/id/463068/

Prayers for Mark Hall: http://www.christiantoday.com/article/casting.crowns.mark.hall.has.cancer.will.have.kidney.removed/49444.htm

And this; just because: http://yonanas.com/yonanas_recipes/apple-pie-yonanas/


In favor of not looking foolish I often delay good news.

Unfortunately, I reported too soon.

The movers did not come last Thursday.

Because, as hard as it is to believe – I wasn’t ready.

I was on schedule. I was doing just fine. Wall were washed. Floors were next.

In an effort to maximize the weekend, my brilliant Saturday night plan involved me and a sleeping bag at the condo. Just in case I woke up at 2:00 am and wanted to do something, or just in case I woke up without my alarm at 5:45 am and wanted to get started.

Before heading over, I thought, “You know, I should probably eat something.” I responsibly followed through on that tickler. Sometimes, I don’t. Project tunnel-vision often eclipses that.

There’s something remarkably comforting, opening the near empty cupboard door to behold the emergency can of soup. The emergency can security blanket came with the starving-record-company-job in New York City.

Clubbing was required for career advancement; food was not.

For those times when meeting leftovers weren’t available, an event did not feature finger food, or it wasn’t dance-club free buffet with any drink purchase, the choice was usually a cart pretzel, a deli bagel, or home-boiled midnight pasta with butter and black olives. A few times a month, admins and coordinators were treated to an expensed lunch, occasionally allowed to tag along to artist dinners.

For those rare, no-free-food stretches where hunger actually mattered, the cupboard always held a can of tuna or a can of soup. Occasionally, there were both, and I felt rich and secure.

I can account for the emotionabilty, however, in this particular instance, I cannot account for the science. I’ve always been informed and occasionally scorned for disbelieving that canned foods are not subject to absolute spoil dates. Everybody knows you can eat canned foods well past their expiration date with no repercussions. Unless, you’re me, eating a can of recently expired (October 2014) soup. Then, all hell breaks loose. Or doesn’t. Details don’t matter, and are a bit disgusting, but instead of mopping floors on Sunday, I was experiencing Urgent Care, followed by a trip to the Emergency Room.

My emergency can of Chicken Tortilla soup tasted a little metallic, but it’d been a long time since I’d had canned soup, and the soup, after all, had been sitting in a can for a while. It wasn’t tasty; it wasn’t horrible. It just needed to go down so I could go on. It did.

Slurping soup requires sitting. So, I returned a few phone calls, had a few text conversations, and then began to feel very sleepy. Working 8 hours washing walls felt like a good reason to be tired. I actually concluded my last call apologizing, “I cannot keep my eyes open.”

Sluggish persistence stubbornly gathered camp-in gear. A short frigid trek and I’d decided I’d had it. When your body is tired, it’s tired. Mine doesn’t tend to ask – it demands. I shook a quick set-up for a short nap, because I knew I would be up again before the night was over, and I would redo it right, then.

Two hours later, I awoke in pain, in tears and alarmingly in trouble. The trouble with the trouble was that another trouble was making it difficult to get rid of the trouble. It was an extremely unpleasant experience, followed by 48 hours of prescribed bed rest, and no lifting or bending.

If you’ve calculated that out, you know where this is going. If you haven’t, that brings us Wednesday. One day before the movers, three days of carefully coordinated lead-in and lead-out plans went down the toilet. Truly. Thank goodness I know some rational, logical people.

Concentrating on scrambling, what to do first, what to just not do, I missed a major option. Delay.

I have.

I also have disproved the common myth that expiration dates on canned goods don’t mean anything, and have proven, once again, that I really should follow my gut. Always.

Quote for the Week:

That thing you do anyway knabble 03 03 2015

Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:

Who dates – http://adashofscience.com/2013/09/09/food-expiration-dates-determined/

Well, that’s Souper – http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2011/11/22/142672252/eating-canned-soup-makes-bpa-levels-soar

De and Re: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/27/dehydration-myths_n_3498380.html


Under the Category of…

Condo Chronicles, February 21, 2015: The Dust War

Saturday morning assessment: the bathroom work needs clean-up work. Drywall and sanding and flooring and painting in a 7 x 7 space left a fine film of dusts and almost minuscule plops of mediums… everywhere.


Under the Category of “If You’re Gonna Do It, Do It Right.”

Me (to nobody in particular, well, actually to no one, at all):

“Do I really need to wipe down all the walls?”

Walls (mine do talk): “Yes.”

Me (halfway to pretty sure I don’t): “I’ll take a swipe.”

Me (still skeptical): “I can hardly see a difference.”

Sponge (scientifically): “I can confirm that.”

Me (noting the blue is more lightly beige): “Eh, I’ll rinse and swipe once more to be sure.”

Bucket (with a list of its own): “I can confirm that.”


Under the Category of “Ear Worm – Get It Out.”

Me: (in an endless loop as I one-way wipe away dust, sidetrackedly stuck by unexpected ancient paint blotches) “If You’re Gonna Do It, Do It Right.” “If You’re Gonna Do It, Do It Right.” “If You’re Gonna Do It, Do It Right.” “For the Love of George– I’m doing it right! Get out of my head.”

Me (rational alter-ego): “Music would help.”

Me (scrambling for the phone and charge): “Slacker, Slacker! I’m no Slacker – but I’m glad I’ve got Slacker.”

Me (rational alter-ego): “You just ear wormed yourself again, didn’t you?”


Under the Category of “One Down, Two Down, Why Bother Counting?”

Me: Four hours later, winning the war against bathroom grit and numerous swipes of tell-tale sloppy decorators’ toilet tank paint. Obviously without any realistic notion of how long total de-dusting takes, and annoyingly burdened with weighty acknowledgement gleaned from having moved the ceramic-ton toilet and the unassembled shower door assembly, out and back into the shower.

Me: Two hours later, winning the war against kitchen grit and appliance atrocities. Reliving lessons previously not learned; recognizable (late) as errors. The Magic Eraser affair continues – removing grease and rust build-up, re-whitening (as much as possible due to previous neglect) appliance seal strips, door knobs (eventually slated for retire and replace-ments.)


Under the Category of “Oh, Yeah.”

Me: (years ago) Scoffed at the mother who allowed her toddler to play with the mysterious cleaning product and then complained when, after rubbing it all over his face repeatedly for an extended period of time the child developed chemical burns. It’s a cleaning product, lady, and why weren’t you supervising your kid?

Me (years later): Scrubbing a rental floor to a less dull shine, dissolving my fingernail tips and stripping the pads a bit, crashing into membership as an unfortunate inauspicious of the same “Duh” group.


Under the Category of “I’ve done this before.”

Me (lazy): “Oh, this should just take a couple wipes.”

Dishwasher Seal: “You don’t really believe that, do you?”

Me (in discovery mode): “There’s some more, and there’s some more and…”

Me (doing the whole thing, without a single intelligent consideration despite the incompletely eradicated worm-bastard): “If You’re Gonna Do It, Do It Right.”

Refrigerator (orange-ish-ly snarky): “Hey, what about taking another go at mine.”

Me (playing fair, addressing the other sealants in the room):  “If You’re Gonna Do It, Do It Right.”

Me (frantic for an antidote): “Argh! The phone’s not registering my really tender fingertip taps!”

Me (sheepishly sore): “Foolishness. You’ve done this before.”


Under the Category of “Break-Time!”

Me (finely, remembered): Finally remember to lift the yogurt lid away from my face, thus avoiding facial, eye-glass and wardrobe splatter.

Me (again): “Break Time!”

Me (not so long after) “Break Time!”

Me (the heck with this noise): “Nap Time!”


Under the Category of “Finished.”

Me (uncomfortably and somewhat numbly bumbling along my Android keys):

“An hour and a half in the kitchen. Two and a half hours in the living room/dining room/hallway. One hour in the bedroom. Forty-five minutes in the office, and one broken window shade: finished. I will likely do nothing else this weekend.”


Under the Category of “That’s Not Likely.”

Me (realistically, for a change): “That’s not likely…”


Quote for the Week:

I've done this same thing before  02 24 2015

Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:

Chemically: http://home.howstuffworks.com/magic-eraser.htm

Wormifying: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6W0d9xMhZbo

De-Dustify: http://www.howtocleanstuff.net/removing-interior-construction-dust/


Extra Extra: The Dust War Pictorials

20150221_080137 Dust line wall Slide2 Slide3 Slide4